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Old 03-27-2012, 10:03 PM   #26
dc_publius
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Re: Ask me about long term independent budget travel

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I agree with this. But I also warn total noobs about traveling on your own for the first time- I think that your first big trip is probably best with at least one friend. Figuring out the process for traveling/learning how to do it is a difficult process in itself.

I do agree that traveling alone is a cool way to do it. You'll never really be alone (unless you want to be), since you'll meet people in hostels/etc.
It depends on the person. Some people can not imagine doing anything by themselves like going to a restaurant or going kayaking or whatever.

But otherwise, as long as people start off in safe countries that are not very tourist-predatory, it shouldn't be an issue to travel alone. There isn't much to figure out. All you need is money and a hotel.

I disagree about loneliness. Just because you are surrounded by tons of people doesn't mean that you will not get lonely. Good relationships take time and effort to develop and you don't get that on the road. Transient semi-relationships one develops while traveling are just that - transient. They do not compare.

This is the worst part of long term travel. It doesn't matter how many random people I'm surrounded by and meet. I still miss my friends, my parents, my sis, my niece - and these people are much more important to me than a bunch of randoms I meat trekking for a week.
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Old 03-27-2012, 11:31 PM   #27
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Re: Ask me about long term independent budget travel

i remember reading your Nepal TR, did you ever consider going from there to Bhutan? it's always seemed like a pretty cool place to me. i know i've heard that to travel there the gov't requires you to spend some min $/day? i also vaguely remember reading about someone bypassing that requirement, though i don't remember how exactly.
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Old 03-27-2012, 11:50 PM   #28
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Re: Ask me about long term independent budget travel

That's a good point with loneliness. I guess I'm fortunate to have met some cool people in hostels (and eventually just kept traveling together with them) and developed some decent friendships.

I suppose W. Europe is definitely easy for someone on their first trip. But even still, I think I might have had problems if I were alone on that first trip. Could just have been me though.
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Old 03-28-2012, 02:46 AM   #29
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Re: Ask me about long term independent budget travel

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Any recommendations on places to visit in Romania?
I was in Romania for just under 3 weeks this past year and ad a great time. I came in from the north into Iasi which is a hidden treasure. It has tons of culture, churches, and is a very "normal" city in Romania in that there are not many tourists so I got to see how people live. Many people miss it but it has an interesting mix especially since it is close to Moldovia.

Bucharest is also an obvious choice due to the museums and the big government buildings with their history during the fall of communism in Romania.

Cluj-Napoca was a cool town which I would describe as being very young and modern. It's got a college town feel and lots of places to go out and hang out in the evening/night. Check out the brewery of the national beer which is based here. The actual brewery was shut down but it's a nice bar type of scene these days.

Finally, I can recommend Brasov since it is close to Dracula's Castle (Bran) (which isnt that cool to be honest) and the more interesting citadel in Rasnov. The Brasov "Hollywood" type sign is pretty funny but the town itself has some nice places to walk and get some beautiful views of the city.

These are the places that I actually visited that I enjoyed. I couchsurfed everywhere in Romania except for Brasov so I got to really experience the great Romania hospitality. I recommend meeting the locals. They are very friendly and have a very interesting culture.
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Old 03-28-2012, 03:02 AM   #30
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Re: Ask me about long term independent budget travel

Yeah, Brasov has a resort town feel to it.

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i remember reading your Nepal TR, did you ever consider going from there to Bhutan? it's always seemed like a pretty cool place to me. i know i've heard that to travel there the gov't requires you to spend some min $/day? i also vaguely remember reading about someone bypassing that requirement, though i don't remember how exactly.
No, far as I know you need to be on a tour that is like $250 per day. I would LOVE to visit, I'm in love with the Himalayas and Bhutan would be epic.
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Old 03-28-2012, 03:05 AM   #31
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Re: Ask me about long term independent budget travel

Thanks for the info on Romania and hitching guys.

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The only thing I research in advance is visas.
It's also a good idea to check if you need any vaccinations. Officially quite a few countries in South America and Africa want proof that you've had the yellow fever vaccination. They didn't bother asking me when I went to Zambia so YMMV.
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Old 03-28-2012, 03:23 AM   #32
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Re: Ask me about long term independent budget travel

Good call, that is important.
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Old 03-28-2012, 04:08 AM   #33
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Re: Ask me about long term independent budget travel

Yup, depends which counties you visited and what country you are coming from.

I read somewhere that lots of South American countries are pissed about visa regulations with the US and in turn they tend to be strict with Americans showing their Yellow Fever proof, but they don't care nearly as much if you are coming from other countries... I was traveling on EU passport and they never asked. I think Yellow Fever is the only one that can get you stopped at a border. (Anything else?) All the other ones are just good precautions.

Keep in mind that many of these travel vaccines are not covered by insurance in the US. My insurance agent told me they will not cover my malaria pills/rabies vaccine/etc - but they are more than happy to cover treatment cost when I get back. hehehe... I went to travel clinic and these things will easily run you a couple of hundred dollars. Personally, I would recommend looking into getting these vaccines abroad where they usually cost peanuts at the start of the trip.

Bhutan only lets Indians enter their country. Every one else needs to be with a tour group and tour group prices are government regulated (so no one undercuts each other). As a consequence, you are looking at spending $250/day minimum, even though there is absolutely no reason why this country should be any more expensive than Nepal.... their king/government is just fleecing tourists. Probably good way to keep monarchy going without having westerners spreading their opinions in your land...
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Old 03-28-2012, 02:41 PM   #34
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Re: Ask me about long term independent budget travel

I love the backcountry hiking like we have in the US. Show up to the trail, get a permit if necessary, and start hiking. I've been hard pressed to find any anything similar in Asia. I guess the best so far is the Annapurna circuit, because all you need is the permit and you're good to go. Of course you're staying in guesthouses and not camping...

Have you come across any places in Asia that are good for independent backcountry hiking? I think I need to go to Patagonia...
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Old 03-28-2012, 04:28 PM   #35
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Re: Ask me about long term independent budget travel

Most of the hikes in Nepal are not tea house treks. You need to carry your own food and camping gear etc. Annapurna Circuit is an exception, not the norm. People usually take porters or guides with them when they go on treks that require camping and/or reach high elevation but it is not mandatory in most places, only recommended. Your options for independent hiking/camping are pretty much endless in Nepal
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Old 03-29-2012, 11:13 AM   #36
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Re: Ask me about long term independent budget travel

you wrote you were in armenia. how is the internet there? how good is live poker action(i play cash)?
I'm planning to go there for 1-2months this autumn
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Old 03-29-2012, 04:54 PM   #37
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Re: Ask me about long term independent budget travel

The family I stayed with in Yerevan didn't have wifi. I did play at a cafe near Republic Square. I did lose connection several times. I remember that I won there because it was my first time playing a certain game/structure and I got off to a good start in it so in the end it worked out for me but certainly not ideal. That was more than 2 years ago, technology improves really fast, even in poor countries.

The game was really good, action. Bunch of old guys. Game was 2/5 played in dollars if I remember right. There was only one table and I kept being told people were coming to start the game but it took like 2 or 3 hours to get going. I don't remember the rake, only played the one time. I don't know which casino it was but I could probably find out from my friend who took me there. There are a few small casinos on the same street. Think that was the only one that offered poker, definitely only one that had a game going that night.

I love Armenia. I experienced better hospitality there than any country I've been to
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Old 03-29-2012, 06:47 PM   #38
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Re: Ask me about long term independent budget travel

One question how is Dublin for online poker?
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Old 03-29-2012, 07:02 PM   #39
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Re: Ask me about long term independent budget travel

Don't think this is the right thread for these kinds of questions. Armenia I fully understand since I had said I played there and most people have not been to Armenia.

There is already a thread on UK/Ireland on the 1st page. And why wouldn't Dublin be ok for online poker...If I had been to Dublin I'd give you my thoughts but just not the direction the thread should go in
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Old 03-29-2012, 08:11 PM   #40
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Re: Ask me about long term independent budget travel

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Don't think this is the right thread for these kinds of questions. Armenia I fully understand since I had said I played there and most people have not been to Armenia.

There is already a thread on UK/Ireland on the 1st page. And why wouldn't Dublin be ok for online poker...If I had been to Dublin I'd give you my thoughts but just not the direction the thread should go in
Ok sorry im going to read that post!
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Old 03-29-2012, 09:09 PM   #41
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Re: Ask me about long term independent budget travel

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And why wouldn't Dublin be ok for online poker...
Yeah, would be interesting to hear how some less stable countries are like places in Africa and Asia and how practical playing actually is on these longer term trips. I could see trying to play for a couple hours/day w/ a private room and 3G card. [Sorry for adding to this topic.]
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Old 03-30-2012, 03:04 PM   #42
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Re: Ask me about long term independent budget travel

What's the best way to carry my bankroll to Europe from America? ~7k

I will be doing some travelling around the Europe and don't wanna get robbed either.
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Old 03-31-2012, 02:09 AM   #43
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Re: Ask me about long term independent budget travel

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What's the best way to carry my bankroll to Europe from America? ~7k

I will be doing some travelling around the Europe and don't wanna get robbed either.
buy a rolex
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Old 03-31-2012, 11:32 AM   #44
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Re: Ask me about long term independent budget travel

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What's the best way to carry my bankroll to Europe from America? ~7k

I will be doing some travelling around the Europe and don't wanna get robbed either.
Bank wire to a casino or friend
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Old 04-01-2012, 05:00 AM   #45
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Re: Ask me about long term independent budget travel

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Yeah, would be interesting to hear how some less stable countries are like places in Africa and Asia and how practical playing actually is on these longer term trips. I could see trying to play for a couple hours/day w/ a private room and 3G card. [Sorry for adding to this topic.]
Every connection is different. I have found good connections in a lot of poor countries. I often go to the center of town where all the restaurants are and use wifi in a cafe. In most countries you can sit there as long as you want, especially between lunch and dinner. I'll get lunch and then a coke whenever I want a refill. Anyway, I play there but I also get the password for a nearby connection, ideally one right next door that I can connect to without moving. If I lose connection and have to switch locations I do. Just have to figure out what works on a connection by connection basis. The worst places to play are ones that frequently have blackouts. Recently I was playing in Sapa, Vietnam and the power went out. Less than 5 minutes later I found a restaurant on the same street that ran a generator and still had wifi. I stayed in town like another week and when I played I went to that restaurant. Never had a problem again. I had wifi at my guest house too but I didn't trust it and never played there.

Playing poker on longer trips is very practical. I'll go awhile without playing and then take a break somewhere and play. You need a break from traveling regardless and poker is a great way to offer balance to your life and replenish your funds. I go through times where I try to travel and play at the same time as well. I prefer not to play a lot though and concentrate on travel but I have never liked putting in volume even when home. AYou could easily get in a couple hours most days when you are productively traveling. There are going to be days when you can't play at all and sometimes stretches, but for the most part you can stay somewhere with wifi and play at night instead of going out drinking. Or play and then go out drinking, or just take a break for the day and play etc. Like I said above which I like to do is take my cpu to a restaurant, register for 180sngs or something and play. However you want to do it. Poker is a GREAT way to travel, don't know why more people don't do it. Find somewhere you like and stay for a couple weeks, a month, whatever you want. Have all the freedom in the world.

If I go a month of hard traveling with no poker I'm better off experiencing that place with no poker, and when the month or whatever is over I can go somewhere laid back, take a break for a couple weeks. Relax and play
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Old 04-01-2012, 07:39 AM   #46
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Re: Ask me about long term independent budget travel

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I'm travelling around South-Central Europe this Summer but I'm guessing you have been around these countries too. Any hidden gems that you'd recommend in Bosnia, Serbia, Hungary and Slovakia? Thanks
I'm currently 2 months into a 8-month trip in Europe. I'm in Maribor, Slovenia right now. I've travelled through Mexico, Cuba, USA, SE Asia, India and Nepal since June last year and Slovenia is definitely quite high on the list so I would recommend it if you plan a trip to central Europe. There's much more to the country than just Ljubljana.

I'm catching a train to Zagreb today then spending 10-12 days in Bosnia going from Bihac - Banja Luka - Jajce - Sarajevo - Mostar. Bosnia should be a really, really interesting country so I'm looking forward to it. But the problem is that you have to stay on the main tourist trail (not that it's that widely visited) because there's still over 5 million land mines in Bosnia so you can't really go too far off track. I usually write a blog about the countries I visit so if you want, I could PM it to you in 3 weeks after I visit.

As for Serbia, Hungary, Slovakia, I'm going to visit them in July/August so haven't looked much into it yet.
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Old 04-01-2012, 02:39 PM   #47
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Re: Ask me about long term independent budget travel

Do you know if it's possible to buy 3g cards in a lot of the poorer countries?

I've been in Panama, traveling, learning Spanish, and playing poker for a little over two months now. I definitely recommend long term traveling to poker players. We have pretty much the best job possible for it. Although it can make it tough to get the hours in grinding.
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Old 04-01-2012, 09:47 PM   #48
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Re: Ask me about long term independent budget travel

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Do you know if it's possible to buy 3g cards in a lot of the poorer countries?

I've been in Panama, traveling, learning Spanish, and playing poker for a little over two months now. I definitely recommend long term traveling to poker players. We have pretty much the best job possible for it. Although it can make it tough to get the hours in grinding.
This sort of info is very country specific. Even if they have 3G, they may have complex rules for tourists.

3g is pretty new even in the USA. (~10 years since inception, not to mention prevalence) Many developing countries will have no such thing. Many will not even have 2G or have crappy 2G coverage. In a lot of African countries, I was paying an average of $6 per HALF hour for Internet connection that was painful to even browse regular web pages.
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Old 04-02-2012, 05:15 PM   #49
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Re: Ask me about long term independent budget travel

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This sort of info is very country specific. Even if they have 3G, they may have complex rules for tourists.

3g is pretty new even in the USA. (~10 years since inception, not to mention prevalence) Many developing countries will have no such thing. Many will not even have 2G or have crappy 2G coverage. In a lot of African countries, I was paying an average of $6 per HALF hour for Internet connection that was painful to even browse regular web pages.
Agreed. You can probably count on one hand the number of sub-Saharan African countries where playing poker is possible. Certainly South Africa is okay. But I never found a connection elsewhere that it would work on (although I never tried to play).
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Old 04-02-2012, 05:21 PM   #50
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Re: Ask me about long term independent budget travel

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I'm currently 2 months into a 8-month trip in Europe. I'm in Maribor, Slovenia right now. I've travelled through Mexico, Cuba, USA, SE Asia, India and Nepal since June last year and Slovenia is definitely quite high on the list so I would recommend it if you plan a trip to central Europe. There's much more to the country than just Ljubljana.

I'm catching a train to Zagreb today then spending 10-12 days in Bosnia going from Bihac - Banja Luka - Jajce - Sarajevo - Mostar. Bosnia should be a really, really interesting country so I'm looking forward to it. But the problem is that you have to stay on the main tourist trail (not that it's that widely visited) because there's still over 5 million land mines in Bosnia so you can't really go too far off track. I usually write a blog about the countries I visit so if you want, I could PM it to you in 3 weeks after I visit.

As for Serbia, Hungary, Slovakia, I'm going to visit them in July/August so haven't looked much into it yet.
You can leave the tourist track, just don't go wandering around in places where nobody walks. That's a definite downside, though.

Your trip sounds awesome--please PM your blog. If I were you I would spend two months in the Balkans--imo the most underrated part of the world for backpacking. Beautiful, cheap, safe (in comparison to the Latin America et al), few tourists, easy to get around.
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